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Gunman's Privacy Rush; Tillerson Staying Put; Senators Slam Credit Reporting Industry; Anti-Abortion Congressman Won't Seek Re- Election. Aired 4-4:30a ET

Aired October 5, 2017 - 04:00   ET


[04:01:14] DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: A house paid for in cash and extra measures for privacy. New details about the Las Vegas gunman's years of seclusion. Now, the shooting has some Republicans thinking of new gun laws but would they have stopped or prevented any deaths.

RENE MARSH, CNN ANCHOR: And the secretary of state insists he's staying put after reports he called the president a moron. And now, one top Republican senator says it's Tillerson keeping the country from descending into chaos.

Good morning and welcome to EARLY START. I'm Rene Marsh, in for Christine Romans.

BRIGGS: Nice to see you, Rene. I'm Dave Briggs. It's Thursday, October 5, 4:00 a.m. in the East. It is 1:00 a.m. in Las Vegas, that's where we begin.

After days of painstaking investigation, authorities are starting to piece together a picture of the man behind the Las Vegas massacre. Among the new details, CNN has learned Stephen Paddock went out of his way to protect his privacy, paying nearly $370,000 cash for a house in Mesquite, Nevada, even though the 2,000 square foot home had a commanding hilltop view, he obscured it with solid mesh privacy fence that block neighbors' view of his home.

MARSH: And on his real estate application, he said his income came from gambling. He said he gambled about $1 million a year. Authorities found 19 of the shooter's nearly four dozen guns at that home in Mesquite. Officials now say it is clear the shooter's meticulous plan and the anger that drove it developed over time.


SHERIFF JOE LOMBARDO, LAS VEGAS METROPOLITAN POLICE DEPARTMENT: More than 100 investigators have spent the last 72 hours combing through the life of 64-year-old Stephen Paddock. Stephen Paddock is a man who spent decades acquiring weapons and ammo and living a secret life, much of which will never be fully understood.


BRIGGS: Officials also say there's evidence the gunman planned to survive the attack and escape, rather unusual for a mass murderer. Experts say most expect to be caught and killed. Also new video of concertgoers running and police trying to manage

crowds the moment it became apparent they were under attack. We do want to warn you, this video may be disturbing.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Run, go, go, go, everybody go.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Go, run, keep your head down. Go. Keep your head down, go. Run, keep your head down.


MARSH: That video is so chilling.

And CNN's Jean Casarez is live for us this morning in Las Vegas.

Jean, you have the very latest on the investigation. What can you tell us?

JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Rene, a press conference late yesterday just gave a plethora of information and facts, and that's what authorities are saying they're working for, facts. No analyst at this point, just facts.

First of all, between October, 2016 and September 2017, the perpetrator in all of this purchased 33 weapons. So, they're looking to see if something happened October of 2016 that just sort of set him off, that created that 365 days of purchasing so many weapons.

Also, they've got new information about his car. There were several cases that had not been open. It's now been confirmed that in addition to the ammonium nitrate and 1,600 rounds of ammunition, there was 15 pounds of Tannerite, which is used to create exploding targets.

We also learned there was no suicide note but a very new timeline has come about. And it is confirmed there was 10 minutes of shooting. First of all, the shots began at 10:05.

[04:05:03] The shots ended at 10:15 that night. At 10:17, the first officer arrived on the 32nd floor, 10:18, the security officer was shot. Three minutes after the last shots ended, the security officer went to the door, the cameras that he had put in on, the peep hole and cart, assuming he saw, he shot out, security guard was hit.

And then after that, officers kept assembling on the 32nd floor. They went room to room to clear the rooms. They went into the hallways. A massive effort in the hallways, at that aspect, and then, finally at 11:20, entry into in a many room.

And, finally, his girlfriend has now been questioned by the FBI. The information we know comes from her attorney.

She's devastated. He gave her a ticket to go back to the Philippines. He sent her $100,000 for a home. She couldn't understand why, thinking that he was going to break up with her, but she says he was a quiet, gentle man -- Rene.

MARSH: Right. And FBI hoping that that girlfriend can give them some idea as far as motive.

Jean Casarez live for us this morning, thank you, Jean.

BRIGGS: Some Republican lawmakers are signaling a willingness to consider a ban on bump stocks. That's the device used by the Las Vegas shooter that enables a semiautomatic weapon to fire as rapidly as a fully automatic gun.

John Cornyn of Texas, the number two Senate Republican, says he owns a lot of guns but finds is odd bump stocks can be used legally.

MARSH: And he's calling for hearings and he's not alone. Several other Republicans agreeing to look at banning the devices since automatic weapons are already illegally. Most of them admitting they had no idea bump stocks were legal to begin with.

BRIGGS: All right. Let's bring in Matthew Horace, a former executive with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the ATF. He joins us live via Skype this morning.

Thanks for being with us, sir.


BRIGGS: Let's start with those bump slide stocks, bump stocks, a lot of different terminology for them. The ATF regulates that. Why are these devices legal?

HORACE: Well, they're legal because they haven't been deemed to be illegal by our lawmakers. As you know, there are a number of loopholes in the federal gun regulations. And this is unfortunately one of them. You can -- you can analyze is like we do the drums that hold multiple rounds of ammunition. In some states, it's illegal to have clips that contain too many rounds.

So, this is a loophole that we're going to have to look at.

MARSH: So, Matt, I want to talk about what we found out overnight. 33 guns purchased in the past year, most of them rifles. When people hear that, that's a lot of guns in a short span of time. Should a red flag have been raised, somebody have known he purchased these many weapons?

HORACE: Well, you know, Rene, it all depends which side of the fence you sit. I've been home to my 30 years working in law enforcement, people have hundreds of firearms if not thousands because it's their constitutionally right to do so. Now, in some states there are limitations on how many guns you can buy in a day, or a week, or a month. But that still doesn't stop a person from saying, I want to get 100 guns over a 24-month period. So, as long as these are constitutionally protected rights, law-

abiding citizens have the right to purchase guns just like you would a toy or food or any other commodity.

BRIGGS: So, there's nothing the ATF could do, independently, to Rene's point, that when they see an almost arsenal being accumulated in a short time, the ATF could do on their own to go and investigate. Just go take a look or ask questions.

HORACE: No. You know, as easy as that sounds to do, in many ways, that would be infringing on lawful gun owners rights to collect and possess firearms that they choose. In a case like this, the public seems surprised that this person purchases as many weapons as they did, but I'm not surprise because I've seen it time and time and time again.

MARSH: Matt, is it true that it depends on the type of weapon too? Because most of them were rifles. I understand -- and please correct me if I'm wrong -- you can purchase a large number of rifles without reporting that, that there's no law as it relates to rifles, if he purchased maybe a large number of handguns, where people may have realized that. Is that the difference here in why people didn't know that he was collecting this arsenal?

HORACE: Yes, within the scope of our authority, we look at multiple sales information to try to establish trends where people who might be trafficking or selling firearms. Rifles are very different. Rifles don't come up on multiple sales inquiries. And that's why people have the right to own, you know, dozens if not hundreds of rifles if they so choose.

BRIGGS: All right. As for this investigation, a local sheriff there, Sheriff Lombardo, made a suggestion that perhaps there could have been some help. Let's see what the Sheriff had to say late last night in press conference.


LOMBARDO: Look at this. I mean you look at the weapon obtaining different amounts of Tannerite available. Do you think this was all accomplished on his own, self value, face value? You got to make the assumption he had to have some help at some point.


BRIGGS: We'll pose that question to you, sir. Do you think he had help?

HORACE: No. You know, at the end of the day, all a person needs, as long as they are lawful and legal in their actions, in terms of acquiring these things, all a person needs is means, motive or opportunity. You or I, and even today, I could start buying guns right now over the course of next year and I could buy as many guns as my financial capacity would allow. So, he didn't necessarily have to have help here. And that's the unfortunate fact about this.

BRIGGS: Yes, aside from gambling, it doesn't sound like he had much of a job. He had plenty of time and plenty of cash.

Matthew Horace, former ATF agent, appreciate you being with us this morning. Thank you.

BRIGGS: And this morning, we're learning more obviously about the victims. Fifty of the 58 victims who lost their lives in Las Vegas massacre have now been identified. Ten more names were added to the list just yesterday.

Carly Kreibaum, a 33-year-old artist and mother of two from Sutherland, Iowa. She worked a local Walmart and went to Las Vegas with two good friends to see the concert.

BRIGGS: Steve Berger, a financial adviser from Sherwood, Minnesota, was in Vegas celebrating his 44th birthday with an old college roommate. He leaves behind three children.

MARSH: Well, Thomas Day Jr. was at the festival with family and friends, including his four children. The 55-year-old construction worker from Corona, California, was a huge Pittsburgh Steelers fan and had a tattoo of the team's logo proudly displayed on his arm and leg.

BRIGGS: And a Los Angeles Kings hockey team will honor Christiana Duarte before their season opening game today. Christiana was 22. She graduated from the University of Arizona in May and just started working for the team as a fan service associate.

MARSH: Austin Davis was 29 years old. He was a pipefitter from Riverside, California. He was on a trip with friends when the bullets rained down. He loved to play softball and sing country karaoke.

BRIGGS: Fifty-seven-year-old Denise Cohen of Oxnard, California, celebrating her boyfriend's birthday at the music festival. Her son says she touched everyone she knew. She and her partner were both killed.

MARSH: And Brian Fraser of La Palma, California, was a 39-year-old real estate lender who loved to hunt deep sea fish, snow board and attended with his kids. He attended a sporting event. He recently earned his pilot's license and he died surrounded by family and friends.

BRIGGS: Victor Link, a 55-year-old manager of a mortgage firm in California, loved golf, travel and snowboarding. He leaves behind a fiance, a son and a boss who called him the most genuine standup guy you'll ever meet.

MARSH: And 50-year-old Laura Shipp was enjoying the concert with her 23-year-old son, Marine Reservist Corey Shipp when the gunman opened fire. Friends say Corey was the light of Laura's life. He survived but she did not.

BRIGGS: And Chris Hazencomb, a 44-year-old Walmart cashier from Camarillo, California, shielded a female friend's body with his own when the shots rang out. He saved a mother of two. His friend who attended the festival with him says Chris was so excited to see Jason Aldean, he was playing when the shots were fired.

That's the cost. And, you know, every time you hear those names, their stories, their children, their loved ones, that just breaks you to pieces.

MARSH: I know so many families impacted.

Well, coming up, Rex Tillerson is speaking out, claiming he never spoke badly about the president. Did the secretary of state do anything to firm up his rocky relationship with the president after calling him a moron? That's coming up.



[04:18:21] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I'm very honored by his comments. It was fake news. It was a totally phony story. Thank you very much. It was made up -- it was made up by NBC.

Thank you all. Thank you.

REPORTER: Do you have confidence in him?

TRUMP: Total confidence in Rex.


BRIGGS: Did they though? Did they make it up?

President Trump reaffirming his commitment to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson after NBC reported that Tillerson called Trump a, quote, moron. And Vice President Pence had to convince Tillerson to stay on the job. CNN has now confirmed Tillerson's comment.

A hastily arranged news conference Wednesday, Tillerson said any report that he considered quitting is wrong. But he wouldn't exactly answer whether he spoke poorly of the president.


REX TILLERSON, SECRETARY OF STATE: There's never been a consideration in my mind to leave. I serve at the appointment of the president, and I'm here for as long as the president feels I can be useful to achieving his objectives.

REPORTER: Could you address the main headline of this story that you called the president a moron? And if not, where do you think these reports --

TILLERSON: I'm not going to deal with petty stuff like that. I mean, this is -- this is what I don't understand about Washington. Again, I'm not from this place. But the places I come from, we don't deal with in a kind of petty nonsense.

(END VIDEO CLIP) MARSH: Well, he didn't deny it. And a White House source also confirms to CNN, President Trump knew about Tillerson's moron comment before Wednesday. Privately, the president is not pleased that the story went public, but he's not planning to ask for Tillerson's resignation.

Tillerson met yesterday with White House chief of staff John Kelly. The meeting was scheduled after that NBC report, forcing Kelly to skip the president's visit to Vegas.

[04:20:01] BRIGGS: This Tillerson flap prompting some damning words from one of the most powerful Republicans in the Senate, Tennessee's Bob Corker, suggesting the secretary of the state doesn't have the support he needs from the president, and adding this about Mr. Trump's most trusted advisers.


SEN. BOB CORKER (R), TENNESSEE: I think Secretary Tillerson and Secretary Mattis and Chief of Staff Kelly are those people that help separate our country from chaos.


BRIGGS: Corker perhaps feeling a bit perhaps more liberated than his Senate GOP colleagues, having recently announced he's not running for reelection next year.

Three members of U.S. Special Operation Forces were killed in an attack, two others wounded. Here's what we know. A joint U.S.- Nigerian patrol came under hostile fire on Wednesday near the Mali- Niger border. The two wounded U.S. troops were evacuated. Their condition is being described as stable.

The U.S. military has maintained a small presence in the northwest African country advising local troops as they battle the terrorist group Boko Haram and a branch of al Qaeda. They are told President Trump has been briefed by chief of staff John Kelly.

MARSH: Well, a staunchly anti-abortion Republican will give up his seat in Congress after being caught urging his mistress to have an abortion. That story is coming up next.


[04:25:56] BRIGGS: Senators slamming the entire credit reporting industry in the wake of Equifax's breach. Equifax's former CEO Richard Smith is on Capitol Hill yesterday. He was grilled not only about Equifax's attack and its botched response, but why consumers don't have control over the data Equifax collects. In other words, questioning the entire industry's business model.

Here's Senator Elizabeth Warren.

(BEGINV VIDEO CLIP) SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), MASSACHUSETTS: Equifax did a terrible job of protecting our data, because they didn't have a reason to care to protect our data. The incentives in this industry are completely out of whack.


BRIGGS: So, the main criticism? Well, Americans are the product, not the consumer. They don't choose to share their data with companies like Equifax, yet they profit from selling it to lenders. So, will Equifax's mistake lead to more oversight? Well, the head of the top U.S. consumer watchdog agency says, sure should.


RICHARD CORDRAY, DIRECTOR, CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU: These can companies are not going to be able to just do what they think is best and just be on their own on it. They' going to have to be accountable to someone. They're going to have to be accountable for oversight and monitoring. That's a change that's going to have to occur here.


BRIGGS: Equifax's breach exposed the financial data of 145.5 million Americans, and the shocking part, of course, was, Rene, most Americans said, what is Equifax? How do they have my data, to the point know one knew what they were, how they got their data. Something has to change here.

MARSH: Yes, affected a lot of people. I have to go online as well myself.

BRIGGS: I hope everyone did.

MARSH: To freeze my account.

Turning to other news, a Pennsylvania Congressman Tim Murphy has announced he will not seek reelection at the end of his term. His decision came after reports on Tuesday that the anti-abortion Republican urged a woman he was having an affair with to have an abortion. Murphy released a statement saying he did he sided against seeking re-election after talking with his family and staff. He said he'll take time in the coming weeks to get help as he and his family work through their, quote, personal difficulty.

The Las Vegas gunman didn't just plan an all-out assault, he was planning to escape. That and more about what police are revealing about the attacker, coming up next.